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What Happens When the Approach Isn’t Clear?

Before the first instrument flight lesson, even the greenest candidate for an instrument rating knows that the most basic goal when flying by reference to instruments is to avoid hitting anything (or anyone). We accomplish this task by maintaining position awareness based on IFR certified instruments, maintaining constant contact with ATC, and operating only in protected airspace. This airspace is protected by a variety of rules and regulations for minimum weather standards, distances, and… ( Plus d'info...

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eagle5719 5
The 172 pilot must not have even been squawking VFR, but even so, ATC should've still been able to follow him on radar. Thanks go to the Beechjet pilot but was the ATC controller asleep?
preacher1 5
That's kinda what I was wondering too, but unfortunately, it's just like driving; you expect everyone else to follow the same rules that you do. Somtimes they don't and bad things happen. Seems like the 172 pilot knew he was in deep doo doo though as he backed out of the picture.
Steven Walter 0
I understand that ATC does not have radar coverage of KBWG
We used to say in Naval Aviation that each accident had a chain of failure...all you have to do is break one link in the chain and you prevent the accident. That's definitely what happened here.
William Murray 2
Since the TCAS showed the 172, its transponder was operating. The only possibility for the 172 to be invisible to ATC and the Cherokee visible, would be if ATC would filter out traffic with a VFR squawk - which is technically possible but (one would hope) never implemented since it would blind ATC to traffic that should be seen. I'd suspect that they weren't seeing either aircraft at the time that there was a conflict; they were at a low altitude that would be covered only by local radar.
preacher1 2
Well, the TCAS was showing all 3, but center was only seeing the Cherokee and the Beechjet. That was the whole problem.
Ralph Eastburn 2
As a retired ATC worked in New Orleans Center, Jacksonville Center, Miami Center and Pensacola ARTC, I had many such occassions to warn pilots of other ac on my radar that we were not working and weather was marginal. There are a lot of foolish pilots still flying. Most are new pilots and not IFR rated. As controllers we do our best to warn pilots that we are working of unknow targets on our radar. I do not know what happend here unless that out lying airport did not have radar. Thanks to the jet pilot professional that took over the job of helping out here.
preacher1 1
As I said below and in this other post, it looks like that if MEM center was working those 2 and he was showing on the TCAS for the Beech Jet, he would have been visible to center. He had to have been squawking somethng for the Beech to see him.Oh Well, as you say, we weren't there. It was just good it all worked out or it could have been ugly.
Toby Sharp 2
That way Wayne in the 172 just out there to keep everyone else sharp.
preacher1 3
Don't drag me into I ain't got no dog in this fight. If it hadn't been for that Beech pilot, that might have got ugly right quick. I really don't know what else could have been done though. When you are in IMC, you are totally reliant on ATC or a good And normally it's a good idea to listen
Robert Hancock 2
You would think one of the more safe places to be when IFR would be on an approach. My (known) nearest conflict with another airplane was on an approach going into Whitehorse, Yukon. Those days we were required to give position reports (sans radar)

I knew I was some distance ahead of a regional jet when setting up for the approach. With ever report from the regional I knew he was gaining on me for the outter marker/compass locator. I requested a hold to avoid any chance we'd arrive at the marker at the same time. Upon breaking out, I could see the jet was on the taxiway to the terminal. Be aware of your surroundings!
William Murray 2
Thank God that the 172 had his transponder on, squawking mode C. If he wasn't visible to ATC, he was in an area without radar coverage -- meaning that the Cherokee wasn't visible to ATC either.
preacher1 2
Well, if I read the story right, the cherokee was visible to Center and was being vectored by them, which was where the problem was, that ATC didn't see the 172
Mike Dewey 2
The 172 must have been squawking something to be seen by the Beech TCAS. How come ATC didn't see the 172?

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